Tiny Button Band, Large Amount of Time

My current project is a small sweater for one of my nephews, and I didn’t follow an exact pattern. I have been combining ideas from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Percentage system and her basic explanation of raglan sleeves with a sweater that was made by the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I wasn’t totally confident in my ability to just make up a sweater without guidelines, so that’s where the Zimmerman advice comes in, and then that little button band at the top of Stephanie’s sweater has been my inspiration and cause of panic. I managed to make the body and sleeves of the sweater, (with only two froggings of the body) but now that sweet little button band is causing me grief.

I spent a good long while this morning working and reworking that tiny two-inch bit. First, I picked up 10 stitches, but it didn’t look wide enough. So I ripped it out and picked up 12 stitches. Better. Then, the great buttonhole experimentation. With only 12 stitches with my worsted weight, it doesn’t give a lot of space to make two button holes, with enough on the sides and in between to be sturdy. To make it worse, I was determined to stick with the 2×2 ribbing that I had done on the sleeves, body, and neck.

So, I had several attempts at trying the recommended 2×2 ribbing horizontal buttonhole… but apparently I was terrible at following directions. (More likely, I was determined to not listen to the advice, and use the “principles” to make the right size hole for my yarn.) Finally, I actually read the directions for the “round” buttonhole for 2×2 ribbing, and after one or two tries at that, I eventually found something that worked for me – a modification that I can only pray to be able to replicate if I try this sweater again.

blue sweater button holes

That one buttonhole was enough for today. Time to save my sanity and live to fight another day. (On that “other day”, I will be making the ribbing on which I will sew the buttons. Should be easier, I tell myself.)  Tomorrow I can worry some more that the neck hole isn’t big enough.  I spent some time looking at current pictures of my nephew, and decided that his neck looks quite skinny, so maybe it will work out.

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